The Book Club

Ruth Scurr: Napoleon’s life in gardens and shadows

47 min listen

In This Episode

My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is the writer and critic Ruth Scurr, whose new book marks today’s 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death to cast a fresh light on this most written-about of characters. In Napoleon: A Life in Gardens and Shadows, she finds an unexpected thread running through the life of this man of war – his relationship with nature and with gardens, from the plot he tended as a schoolboy to the garden in his final exile in St Helena. She tells me about what he owed the Revolution and how he came to turn it, at least apparently, on its head; about his complex relationship with Josephine and its Boris-and-Carrie echoes; and about the single walled garden on which the future of Europe can be argued to have turned.


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